from Annual Reports 1947-1972
we heard that about 100 acres of ground were for sale at Calderpark
Estate, at a cost of £2,000. We offered £1,800 and after negotiation
the sum of £1,850 was agreed on. The ground was duly acquired through
a loan from a bank.
commenced in May 1946. It was a modest effort in those days. Money
and materials were both very scarce. Our cages and dens were built
from scrap war material and anything suitable that was available
in a ship breaking yard. The offices and aviaries were created from
old wood acquired from an anti-aircraft gun site at Kilmacolm. Surely,
no non-commercial Zoological Society has had to scrape and scrounge
as we did?
make special mention of our experience with penguins. These most interesting
birds are recognised to be one of the most difficult exhibits to keep
in any zoo. When they arrived there was the problem of inducing them
to feed, and our keepers had many cuts on their hands before the birds
would accept their fish without any physical persuasion. In due course
this was accomplished. In the first three months we lost three of
our original eight king penguins. Compared with other zoos which had
received penguins with the same consignment, our proportion of losses
was very far below theirs. Post-mortem examination showed that the
cause of the trouble was mycosis, a disease which was fatal in every
case, despite expert veterinary treatment. Our penguin collection
was recently increased by two more king penguins and four macaroni
penguins. Although it may be premature to mention the success of our
achievements so for in this penguin connection, our results have given
us cause for great satisfaction. Perhaps it is beginner's luck. We
Freda , the young elephant, was a great favourite with the
children from the beginning. On good days during the summer she
carried children, and behaved exceptionally well for a newly imported
polar bear, Snow White , was presented to us by Copenhagen
Zoo, through the Director, Mr Axel Reventlow. She is one of the very
few polar bears to be born and reared in captivity, and is about two
years of age. The Society are, naturally, deeply appreciative of this
to the rising cost of food and material, and general running expenses,
the Council have been compelled to increase the charge for adults
from 1s. to 1s 6d. Children will still be admitted for a sixpence.
the good offices of Councillor Robert Gray, a Glasgow Corporation
representative on our Council, we were granted the sum of £1,000 from
the Lord Provost's Festival of Britain Fund . In return for
this every school child in Glasgow, in organised school parties, will
have the opportunity of visiting Calderpark up to the end of 1952.
This arrangement gives your Council a great deal of satisfaction as
it goes a long way towards establishing the educational importance
of the Gardens.
We suffered a very severe blow in February when we were confronted
with an outbreak of anthrax, a most serious disease among animals.
Within a week we lost fourteen animals - a young lion, a coatimundi,
a caracal, a dingo, and ten raccoons. In justice to the staff at
the Gardens it should be stated that, so far as they were concerned,
the cause was outwith their control.
year has firmly established the Gardens as a recognised centre of
education for children. The Corporation of Glasgow and the County
Council of the County of Lanark have fully appreciated the educational
importance of Calderpark. Both have made an educational grant which
have made all schools under their authority associate members. As
a result of these, we can look forward in the coming year to record
visits from school children in conducted parties.
Work is well advanced on the first barless enclosure. Instead of
bars, a deep moat will prevent the animals from escaping. We hope
to have this novel feature open by April and the probable occupants
will be hyaenas.
we opened in July 1947, about 1,600,000 people have visited the Gardens.
The Coronation celebrations were unfortunately of no help. Because
of local authority Coronation grants very many school parties did
not pay their annual visit to Calderpark being able to go further
Two deaths during the past year among our collection were that of
the elephant, Freda , and the grand old lion, Singh . The
loss of Freda in the spring was a very serious one as it
left us without an elephant, and such a big attraction is an important
feature of any zoo. It should be added, however, that Freda's
general health had caused concern for a long time and had it
not been for the good care and skilled veterinary attention she had
been receiving, she would not have lived as long as she did. She developed
a serious gastric complaint and died after a short illness.
important purchase made in 1955 was a young elephant. Her name is
Sari , and she is now about six years of age. She cost £1,000.
Sari has settled down nicely and we hope that, when old enough,
she will give rides to children. She has already become a great favourite
Breeding results have been exceptionally successful with tigers.
We had two litters, one of three, the other of two and fortunately
both mothers reared their cubs. It is perhaps not generally known
that tiger cubs are difficult to rear in captivity, and, in most
cases, a foster dog is used. So far as we are aware no other zoo
in the world had such good fortune with tigers in 1955.
Grant's zebra colt was born in the spring, and is making excellent
progress. So far as we are aware it is the first to be born in Scotland.
Through the good offices of Professor Dr H. Hediger, Director of Zurich
Zoo, we have received a very handsome young male leopard.
has increased during the year by exotic birds, American tree fox,
raccoon dog, raccoons, collared peccary, agouti and skunk.
with the important work of replacing a number of the fences, shelters
and paddocks which had been erected in 1946-47, and had become unsightly
or dangerous. A comprehensive programme of work of a similar nature
will be carried out in 1959.
very successful in the breeding of tiger and lion cubs. Six tiger
cubs and five lion cubs were born. It is interesting to record that
with one litter of tiger cubs the male tiger was allowed to remain
with the tigress and her three cubs. He is the Malayan tiger,
Sam , and his conduct with the cubs was excellent. We understand
that this is one of the few occasions that this has been tried successfully.
The usual procedure is to remove the tiger before the cubs are born.
heavy losses among our most important exhibits. Old favourites
Sam (tiger), Snow White (Polar bear), and Rory
cold winter has made the task of managing the animals extremely difficult.
Feeding, cleaning and supplying water in temperatures often well below
freezing point present major problems. Our staff responded well to
now a most impressive show of Polar bears. There are six young ones
in the new den and we are particularly grateful to Copenhagen Zoo
for supplying us with four of these most interesting animals. The
other two were reared by an Eskimo in Greenland. He had been attacked
by the mother and had to shoot her in self defence.
In common with most zoological gardens, the off season
, which may extend to six months of the year, is a heavy financial
strain. Attendances during this period are negligible and therefore
we depend a great deal on grants and members' subscriptions to meet
our expenses. It can therefore be readily appreciated that a bad
summer is a most serious matters for a non-commercial zoological
have had to face the rising expenditure trends in wages, animals,
animal feeding, and building material. Obviously, this can only
be met by substantially increased attendances. And attendances can
be increased only by good weather, good transport and above all
a good zoo.
has been an astonishing increase in private car parties; this has
meant that the problem of increasing the size of our car park is an
urgent one. During 1963 it was considerably extended; yet, on several
occasions it was quite inadequate and large numbers of private cars
had to find parking space elsewhere.
Zoos have a significant contribution to make in the breeding of
animals threatened with extinction. We have all been made aware
of the urgency of saving wild animals from extinction, and a number
of the world zoos have taken an impressive part in this very worthy
object. We look forward to the day when Glasgow and the West of
Scotland can be numbered among those which play an effective part
in assuring the survival of wild animals which are being so swiftly
exterminated in their natural haunts.
the celebrated lion is worth special mention. It may be recalled
that he was presented to us by Mr James Walton in May 1963; the five
years old lion had been Mr Walton's pet. Morose and dangerous when
he arrived at Calderpark, Rikki would not eat. After two
weeks of patient attention from our staff, we finally got him to take
food, although he remained very unhappy and aggressive. After a short
period we introduced him to a lioness, about four years of age, but
he ignored her. We then put him with a twelve years old lioness and,
in due course, a male cub was born.
with the greatest satisfaction that we announce that negotiations
are, at the moment, actively proceeding with a view to providing a
first-class licensed HOTEL near the main gate. The project is awaiting
the necessary Authority's permission. With these forthcoming, the
plans already drawn up will be put in hand without delay, and the
hotel should open its doors in 1967. This can only result in tremendous
advantage to Calderpark Zoo and Gardens in the years ahead. [
An hotel finally opened in 1995! ]
successful photographic competition was again organised by Messrs
Ilford. Special facilities were granted by us to the competitors,
all members of photographic societies; prizes were awarded by Ilford
and by the Zoo Council.
the most severe loss of the year was that of our elephant, Sari
, who died in the early summer at the age of 14. The immediate
reaction was to replace her as quickly as possible, but it was eventually
decided that the acquisition of another elephant should be delayed
until funds became available to construct a much larger house and
more spacious enclosure. Sari's old house is therefore now
being converted into a Nocturnal House.
as the amur cats, other acquisitions for the Cat House during the
year included a Scottish wild cat, a pair of Malayan golden cats,
a pair of leopard cats and a pair of binturongs. This gradual build-up
of potential breeding stock, all young adults, received a sad blow
towards the end of the year with a series of sudden deaths due, it
is thought, to a virus infection, which resulted in the loss of the
Scottish wild cat and one each of the pair of amur cats, golden cats
and leopard cats.
the commonest complaints by visitors over the last two years has been
the dust which rises from the ash paths, and we are therefore particularly
grateful to the Gardens Department of the Ninth District Council of
Lanarkshire who have this winter commenced laying tarmac on the paths
in the newly developed areas of the grounds.
Peat and Charlie , a very attractive pair of ring-tailed
lemurs, were acquired separately within 48 yours of each other and
from separate ports in Madagascar, by the captain and one of the
crew of the same ship. Both were babies, too young to be independent,
which were being played with and teased at the dockside and which
were acquired for the princely sum of a couple of old shirts! It
is a considerable tribute to Captain Palethorpe-May and Mr Thornton
that by the time the lemurs arrived in Britain they were exceedingly
healthy, half-grown animals. They have settled in very well at Calderpark,
endearing themselves to staff and visitors alike, and we have high
hopes that they will in due course breed successfully.
in urbanised countries like the United States is no longer only dependent
on those who live in wild areas. More than 70 per cent of our population
now dwells in cities and it is here that attitudes, and their resultant
votes, will determine the future of wildlife and wild lands. Ironically,
the decisions will be made by people almost totally unfamiliar with
living wild creatures, except those animals seen at the zoo. To gain
the interest - and attention - of this great majority of inexperienced
city-dwellers has become a basic responsibility of modern zoo displays.'
William G. Conway, General Director, New York Zoological Society
the most important single item of progress in the educational field
has been the agreement of Lanarkshire County Council Education Committee
to second a schoolteacher to Calderpark to fill the post of Education
Officer. Although a severely neglected aspect of British zoological
gardens, the great success of established educational systems in foreign
zoos, combined with the number of requests which we already receive
for everything from conducted tours to material for projects in nursery
schools, makes us confident that there will be a very considerable
demand for the services of this new department.
collection of North American reptiles was received from the Indianapolis
Zoo, including various species of terrapins, box turtles and snakes,
some of which are still rather too small to place on show.
has been participating in a scheme known as Community Industry. This
is organised by the Department of Employment and the
National Association of Youth Clubs for the alleviation of youth
unemployment. Calderpark, as a major amenity of Glasgow, has benefited
considerably. Up to twenty 16-18 year olds and their supervisors have
been working at the Zoo on a wide variety of tasks to the direction
of Zoo staff. The scheme continues to be of great value both to the
boys and girls concerned and to the Zoo. We are very pleased that
the Government has recently agreed to continue the scheme for an indefinite